A-Rod faces longer recovery this time

Alex Rodriguez sits in the dugout during the Alex Rodriguez sits in the dugout during the Game 4 of the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. (Oct. 18, 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The last time Alex Rodriguez went through something like this, he was given two months.

And after having surgery on his right hip March 8, 2009, he returned to the lineup May 8 in Baltimore.

So why the four- to six-month month prognosis for the surgery to repair a labral tear on his left hip?

"It is a more complicated surgery with a longer recovery time because there is a little bit more that needs to be done," general manager Brian Cashman said, adding that this time around, the third baseman has a "bone impingement."

A bone impingement essentially is two abnormally shaped bones that, because they fit precisely together, rub against each other and can cause joint damage.

"What happens in hip impingement is that that the spherical nature of the hip doesn't develop correctly and what happens when the hip is slightly out of spherical nature is that it takes a toll on the cartilage structure around the hip called the labrum," said Dr. Michael Bronson, the vice chairman of orthopedic surgery and director of the Center for Joint Replacement Surgery at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "The labrum is a cortical disc that surrounds the socket and when you have hip impingement, that cartilage disc takes a beating."

Bronson said Rodriguez will be able to start rehabbing "fairly soon" after the surgery.

But he added: "The issue is when you remove part of that bone, the bone itself needs to change its structure and be strong enough to tolerate the pounding that's part of professional sports. While he'll be rehabbing, there's a difference between that and going out and pounding on it full speed."

There has been a lot of talk about an added obstacle being Rodriguez's age, 37, but Bronson said, "That doesn't make a difference."

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